Federal Judge Rules Man Facing Jail Sentence Cannot be Denied Access to Methadone

A federal judge has ruled that a Massachusetts man facing a jail sentence cannot be denied methadone to treat his opioid addiction.

The ruling could have an immense impact on the nation’s correctional system, according to The New York Times.

The judge said the man, Geoffrey Pesce, was likely to prevail in his argument that refusing him medication-assisted treatment for his opioid addiction violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and was cruel and unusual punishment.

Most jails and prisons in the United States do not provide inmates access to methadone or buprenorphine, even though some experts estimate that up to one-fourth of people who are incarcerated have opioid use disorder.

Rhode Island has offered both methadone and buprenorphine to inmates since 2016, and screens inmates for opioid use disorder. Rikers Island, the jail complex in New York City, also offers inmates medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Medication-assisted treatment can help your loved one overcome his or her opioid addiction. Learn more about what it is, how it works and if it could work for your family.

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